**Anarchy, Mathematics, Spirituality, Solitude**Alexander Grothendieck is one of the most prominent mathematicians of the twentieth century, notably in that he revolutionized algebraic geometry.

His life contains unusual drama.

In 1970, at the age of 42 and after a brilliant scientific career, he gave up his professorship at the renowned Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Paris and withdrew from scientific activity and soon after from mathematical research.

For a few years he devoted himself to the peace movement and the emerging ecology movement. Eventually his life became increasingly guided by philosophical, religious and esoteric ideas.

Initially Buddhism played an important role, but later he drew closer to a more Christian vision. He wrote a much discussed retrospective account of his time as a mathematician, entitled Récoltes et Semailles (Reaping and Sowing), and composed other philosophical meditations which remain largely unknown.

In 1991, after undergoing severe psychological crises, he unexpectedly disappeared from view….

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# Who is Alexander Grothendieck?

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